Safety Tip of the Week – Safety Boots

Foot protection means guarding your toes, ankles, and feet from injury. Believe it or not, your feet have 26 bones for support and 38 joints for movement in each foot. Your feet are a critical part of your body that you use every day and, in some cases, enable you to do your job effectively.

There are two major categories of work-related foot injuries. The first category includes foot injuries from punctures, crushing, sprains, and lacerations. They account for 10 percent of all reported disabling injuries. The second group of injuries includes those resulting from slips, trips, and falls. They account for 15 percent of all reported disabling injuries.

When choosing safety footwear, you must select the legally approved shoe or boot required for the job activity, equipment, and situation.

Safety shoes or boots with impact protection should be worn when workers carry or handle materials such as heavy packages, objects, parts, or tools and for other activities where objects may fall onto the foot. Workers should be required to wear safety shoes or boots with impact protection when their work involves wheeling carts that carry heavy materials, handling heavy, bulky tools (paper, fabric, carpet, lumber etc.), working around heavy pipes, or in situations where a heavy object may roll over a worker’s foot.

Safety shoes or boots with puncture protection should be required where a worker could step on sharp objects such as nails, wires, tacks, screws, large staples, scrap metal, etc. And special types of insulating shoes or conductive shoes may be necessary for certain types of electrical work.

The protective footwear you choose must comply with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard F2413-05, formerly the American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) Z41-1999.

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